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According to Knill and Pouget, being an optimal Bayesian observer only means to take into account the uncertainty of the available information (in the system—that's after lossy transformation from physical stimuli to neural representations).

Ideal observer models of some task are mathematical models describing how an observer might achieve optimal results in that task under the given restrictions, most importantly under the given uncertainty.

Ideal observer models of cue integration were introduced in vision research but are now used in other uni-sensory tasks (auditory, somatosensory, proprioceptive and vestibular).

When the error distribution in multiple estimates of a world property on the basis of multiple cues is independent between cues, and Gaussian, then the ideal observer model is a simple weighting strategy.